by Hans Etzold. 240 pp. E08″ x 8″. G T Foulis & Co. Ltd., Spark ford, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7JJ. £17.95.
AII who love Beetles, whether black or otherwise, should add this book to their libraries. Inevitably after 50 years and 20 million VWs of this “Strength Through Joy” kind, some of the facts and pictures will have appeared elsewhere, in this second of Etzold’s volumes of Beetle data; the Foulis version is the English edition of Der Kaler II: Modelle von 1934 bis heute published five years ago.
Etzold’s first book covers specifications and mods; Vol.III is to take us back to the fringes of Beetlemania — how the car was advertised, raced, used for films, made in model form, etc. To have it all in three volumes is useful. If some of the data is not new, I was most intrigued to find in Vol.II 20 pages devoted to tests carried out before the war under various headings on two VWs, an Adler Junior, a two-stroke DKW Meisterklasse and an Opel Kadett. If this, with tables and photographs, isn’t new, someone will surely tell me! Apart from this fascinating comparison of pre-war German small cars by the official RDA, there is much besides. As well as all the expected information there are biographies of Porsche and Nordhoff, a study of the first VW design with more comparisons with other cars, the Reich documents re-VW production (magnifying glasses out!) and the subsequent 1934 contract signed by Porsche, some rare pictures of experimental VW engines that preceded the final flat-four, including the four piston twin . . . and a sleeve-valve two-stroke, the ill-fated KdF savings scheme, development numbering, how to treat a Beetle, a chapter on “My First Beetle”, etc.
All in all, it made me, for a fleeting moment, think I should have a Beetle in the stable again! It is a book, with the companion volumes, that should do well, judging by the fact that the book of mine still most in demand at lending libraries is the one I did for Osprey on the Beetle eight years ago. After which, enough on this subject perhaps? WB
There seem to be no end to books about Jaguar! The latest I have seen is Jaguar The Complete Illustrated History by Philip Porter, published by G T Foulis & Co Ltd of Yeovil at £14.95. I have not counted how many of the 300 plus pictures I have seen before and how many are new but they are well reproduced on art paper on 11″ x 8 3/4″ pages, with a running text, and all models are covered in glorious colour. It will keep Jaguar fans happy for a long time. WB
The 750 MC has issued its 1990 Yearbook which contains regulations governing all the many competition formulae now operated by this active Club, together with fixture dates, results of its 1989 Championships, etc. It is a veritable mine of information on these matters and it is interesting that a Club originally formed to assist 747 cc cars in mud-trials now has an interest in many racing and road-going formulae, including that which takes in cars like the Porsche 911 SC Turbo and TVR Tuscan. I have not seen a price for this very useful Year Book, but it can be obtained by non-members from the 750 MC, 16 Wood stock Road, Witney, Oxon. WB
Christopher Hilton, a Daily Express sports writer, has done a book for PSL on Ayrton Senna — the Hard Edge of Genius. It sets out to explain the Brazilian driver’s attitudes to F! racing, his performances, and to prove his prowess, which is not in doubt. It is not a full biography and the author knows that Senna has to prove himself over the next three years, but if you find any account of modern Fl racing compulsive reading, by all means spend your £14.99 on it. To me it seems rather full of quotes, which gave me the impression I had been there before. Pictures are by Keith Sutton and there is a full list of Senna’s races from his first karting appearance in 1973 to the end of last season. WB
The Manx Norton turns on two-wheeler folk as a Grand Prix Bugatti or a Gran Turismo Alfa Romeo does those who motor on four wheels. So a book which tells it all, Manx Norton by Mick Walker, from Aston Publications at £17.95, will delight enthusiasts from both camps. It has masses of fine pictures, covers the great races ridden by such as Duke, Oliver (with DSJ “up”), Hartley and others, has a chapter about tuner Joe Craig, shows the featherbed frame and the works 350 cc Al-fin cylinder, and ranges not only over the road circuits but covers Manx Norton feats at Daytona and Montlhéry. Norton powered 500 racing cars get a chapter to themselves and there is even a picture of HM Queen Elizabeth 11 arriving at the Norton works in a Rolls-Royce. Which reminds me of when DSJ went there in an A7 saloon to discuss his racing Norton and as the works commissionaire opened the door of the car it came away in his hand . . . A book that will be a treat for the many who revere the Manx Norton, from an age before the market was flooded by the Japanese. WB
Motormedia Ltd, PO Box 3, E. Horsley, Surrey, has just published a couple of catalogues at £5 each on motoring books and motoring and racing memorabilia. Of great browsing value in themselves, they are really a key to further treasures. WPK